PRESIDENT GARFIELD SHOT 135 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 135 years ago this morning, July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot as he walked through the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station here in the nation's capital.
The would-be assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, fired two shots from a British Bulldog revolver. The President, accompanied by his two sons and Secretary of State James G. Blaine, was hit once in the shoulder and once in the back.
Guiteau, who had a cab waiting outside, was captured by police officer Patrick Kearney.
As he was taken into custody, Guiteau reportedly said...
"I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts! Arthur is president now!"*
Garfield was taken to the White House where his condition worsened over the rest of the summer. His weight dropped from 200 to 135. On September 6, 1881, the President was taken to the seashore at Elberon, New Jersey where he died on September 19. He was 49 years old.
Chester A. Arthur became President. The assassin, Guiteau, was found guilty and hanged in June 1882.
If the Stalwarts hoped that one of their own as president would oppose civil service reform, they were to be bitterly disappointed. President Arthur signed into law the Civil Service reform bill.
*Garfield had political ties to the conservative wing of the Republican Party. One of the motives for the assassination was that Garfield had refused to give Guiteau a government position.
President Garfield Is Shot